Miss Julia Barry was born in Lissanearla, Co Kerry, Ireland on 29 December 1879 although would claim much younger ages throughout her life.1
She was the daughter of Michael Barry (b. 1830), a stonemason and farmer, and Julia, née Savage (b. 1840) who had married in Tralee on 12 February 1871.
Her family were Roman Catholic and spoke both Irish and English. Although seemingly from a large family, her only known siblings were: Mary (b. 18 February 1872), Edmond "Edward" (b. 25 July 1874) and Margaret (b. 13 May 1877). She also had a half-sister Abigail (b. 1862) from her father's first marriage.2
Julia first appears on the 1901 census living with her aged parents at house 4 in Killeentierna, Currow, Co Kerry and with no stated occupation. Her brother Edward had emigrated around 1908 and lived in Yonkers, New York where he worked, like his father, as a stonemason. Julia also settled in New York and it is possible that she had emigrated as early as 1901. Whatever her circumstances, by 1911 she was a resident of Manhattan3. She had returned to Ireland in late-1910/early-1911 to nurse her ill mother who was afflicted with a heart condition and later passed away in April 1911 aged 71.
Julia did not return to America immediately and managed to appear alongside her father when the 1911 census was conducted, the household then listed as 17 Killeentierna; Julia had no stated profession.
For her return to New York Julia had originally made plans to sail aboard the Celtic but switched to Titanic for a sooner crossing, writing to her brother Edward in New York to inform him of the change in plan and asking him to meet her at the pier. Some days before she set off she went on a boat trip on the lakes of Killarney. She lost her parasol over the side and the boatman took this as a bad omen.
Julia boarded the Titanic in Queenstown on 11 April 1912 as a third class passenger (ticket number 330844 which cost £7, 17s, 7d).
Julia Barry lost her life in the disaster and her body, if recovered, was never identified. Her brother Edward later travelled to the Cunard pier in the hope she was among the saved.
Julia's father remained in Killeentierna where he died on 30 October 1916. His estate, worth £85, was administered to his daughter Abigail (Mrs John Reilly) of Creewood, Co Meath. Abigail later died in Navan, Co Meath on 2 March 1941.
Her brother Edward later moved to Chicago, was married and raised a family. His eldest child, born in 1912, was named Julia. Edward died in Chicago on 3 November 1941.